Motion to Reopen Granted: Non-Attorney's Failure to Notify Client of Hearing Date
August 30, 2023

Table of ContenTS

The Law Offices of Sabrina Li has been successful in assisting another client. We would like to share their case with you.

Our client came to us after she was issued a removal order in absentia. Entrusting her case to an "immigration service," she had hoped for the best when they filed an I-140 and I-485 on her behalf. Unfortunately, her petitions were denied, leading to a notice to appear in immigration court on a specific date. The immigration service promised to obtain an attorney for our client prior to the hearing and said that they would send the client any updates on the case. However, the immigration service never found an attorney for our client, and when our client attempted to find one herself, she was notified that she had an order of removal.  

The difficulty of the case was that the client had been receiving mail at the immigration service’s address instead of her own address. Moreover, a removal order in absentia is much more difficult to overcome.  

Nevertheless, our experienced team knew that in situations where an individual did not receive proper notice of the hearing date, a motion to reopen may be filed at any time. Thus, our team filed a motion to reopen with proof that our client had not been told of the hearing date by the immigration service, had not been properly served, and could not present herself at her scheduled hearing due to exceptional circumstances.  

Our client was ecstatic when her order of removal was rescinded, and her removal proceedings were reopened to allow her to pursue her legal status in immigration court.  

A motion to reopen requesting that an in-absentia order be rescinded asks the immigration judge to consider the reasons why the respondent did not appear at the respondent’s scheduled hearing. If the motion to reopen to rescind an in-absentia order is based on an allegation that the failure to appear was because of exceptional circumstances, the motion must be filed within 180 days after the in-absentia order. If the motion to reopen to rescind an in-absentia order is based on an allegation that the respondent did not receive proper notice of the hearing, or that the respondent was in federal or state custody and the failure to appear was through no fault of the respondent, the motion may be filed at any time.

Should you or someone you know face a similar situation and require the expertise of skilled professionals, look no further than the Law Offices of Sabrina Li. We're committed to providing the assistance you need, so please don't hesitate to reach out. We're here for you.  

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